by: SARAH TOOR, A recent story surveying prices of produce at farmers markets versus grocery stores received much response from readers, many of whom — for many reasons — choose to purchase directly from the farmers.

I recently read the Sept. 7 article 'The cost of fresh,' and was disappointed at the negative spin the article gave to buying locally grown produce. Growers at farmers markets are not overpricing their products; they offer items at competitive prices.

When I shop at a farmers market, I know that every dollar I spend goes directly to the grower. The amount I pay for a particular item reflects the cost of production, free from markups and government subsidies.

Furthermore, farmers who sell to grocery stores only receive a fraction of what the consumer is paying.

When I first got involved with the Hollywood Farmers Market as a customer and volunteer, I was an AmeriCorps member on a tight budget. By price-shopping the market, I was able to find high-quality, locally grown produce at comparable or slightly lower prices than at the grocery store.

In fact, the market has more of a price range for individual items than you will find at a supermarket. Market managers strive to have a diverse product mix. For us at the Hollywood Farmers Market, that includes a range of price options.

We're excited at the growing number of Oregon Trail food stamp customers who know they can purchase affordable, quality produce at the market and support local growers at the same time.

Daurie Mangan-Dimuzio

Hollywood Farmers Market market manager

Both provenance, price come into play

'The cost of fresh' (Sept. 7) was right on the money. On a visit to the Gresham Farmers Market a few weeks ago, I bought lovely looking green beans and corn. On the way home I stopped at WinCo.

Green beans were half the price I paid at the market, and so was the corn. And they looked to be of similar quality. But maybe they were from Chile or China? Come to think of it, maybe everything at the farmers market was, too?

Ed Hausafus

Eagle Creek

Getting to know farmers is a bonus

I love the farmers market (The cost of fresh, Sept. 7).

Not everything I need is available there, of course, but prices are generally fair, and quality is superior to that found in supermarkets.

It's more than that, though; the farmers market is about community, interacting with the people who produce the food you eat. Hard to put a price on that.

I only wish the markets ran year-round. I've heard that's a possibility for Union Station; that could be a good one.

Kurt Slipsager


With local produce, it pays to make effort

Physically make an effort to drive out to a farm or two (The cost of fresh, Sept. 7).

At the Hood River County Fruit Loop (, peaches cost 99 cents to $1.99 depending on the variety.

It's fresh, local, absolutely the tastiest fruit and beautiful countryside. What more can you ask for?

Todd Hawes

Southeast Portland

Dimmers are factor in light bulb choice

In your Sustainable Life section, the writer of the article on the pros and cons of compact fluorescent versus incandescent lamps (This and that, Sept. 11) forgot to mention two key features.

Compact fluorescent lamps are not suitable for use with dimmers, so if your lamp outlet is wired through a dimmer, do not use a compact fluorescent lamp. And incandescent lamps, when used with dimmers, will use considerably less energy and will last much much longer, depending on the extent of dimming.

Farouk Baxter


'Sweat-free' policy should go further

Regarding the My View 'Workers' rights matter in city' (Sept. 4), writer Ed Hall is totally off-target. No government agency in this country, including the city of Portland, should be contracting to have its employees' uniforms made in a foreign country, period.

Worker safety can be assured by supporting our own country's economy, providing jobs for our own citizens, and letting Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other such agencies do their job to protect worker safety.

Sending jobs overseas is deplorable.

L.J. Pace

Northeast Portland

Portland volunteers do the right thing

Great job, John and Helen Little (Volunteers act globally, Sept. 4).

For somebody who (20 years ago) didn't anticipate having a family, you've really stepped up, John. Hope the Spanish acquisition comes easily for you. Muy buena suerte, y felicitaciones, mi amigo!

Connie Haines


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